"You get what you pay for, but I just had no intention of living this way." -Counting Crows

Why We're Here...

My husband David and I delivered a stillborn Baby Boy that we loved, and wanted. Our first and only son, Logan, had Down Syndrome. Our daughter's smile is a little light in the darkness. She turned one year old three days after our sweet Logan tip-toed away on January 24, 2009. After 2 1/2 years we found out we were having another baby, whom we affectionatly called Rudy. Just shy of 6 weeks we found out Rudy was Ectopic. Rudy was surgically removed on May 26, 2011 delivering another blow to our already broken hearts.

Pregnancy and all its horrors this time around!

*This post contains talk about my current pregnancy.

I have no intention of turning this into a "rainbow baby" blog, but there are just some things I need to get out, and well...now I'm pregnant, so...

Worry. You know, when you're pregnant there are so many things to worry about. Lump on the fact that you've had a baby die, or maybe more than one (as in my case), and well...there's a whole lot of worrying. Not a day goes by that a pregnant post-dead-baby-momma isn't freaked out about something. I'll be honest though, most days I can pretend everything is normal. I say pretend because if I sit down and give it much thought, I'll easily be in a panic and well, frankly, its easier to cope when I avoid and deny all of the horrors that could or might come my way. Its an exhausting way to live and it makes it hard to bond with the baby. Sometimes denial and avoidance aren't such bad things.

Bonding is really hard. You see, I have trouble with ambivalence during pregnancy for about the first 5 months. I had it with my daughter (who is living) and again with Logan up until about a month before he died. With Rudy I never even got the chance to accept that I was really even pregnant since everything happened so soon and so fast. I have it again now, and I'm 17 weeks along. I'm holding out hope for that to go away soon, though the doc says it may not, given the horrors of the last two pregnancies. The doctors say its not uncommon and is related to hormones. I say its uber confusing to desperately want a baby, and than to feel nothing when you are finally pregnant, or worse yet, to feel like you've made a colossal mistake! Sometimes the guilt is overwhelming.

Fear. I'm afraid of everything. Most of its irrational. I'm constantly afraid this baby will die. That the baby will have some terrible condition. That the doctors will miss something (I have 5). I fear for my daughters life. I fear for my husbands life. I fear for my own. But then, I think everyone must have these fears. Maybe mine are just a little more...pronounced. I fear that I'm not eating enough vegetables, or gaining enough weight, sleeping on my back too much, using the stairs too much. I'm afraid of chemicals in my food, in the cleaning products, in the air. I'm afraid that there is too much stress in my home, and that's bad for the baby. I'm afraid of preterm labor now that the doctors tell me that I shouldn't be having braxton hicks this early, and I get them all day long. I'm afraid of the meds I took early on to combat the plague I got right after I got pregnant. There's just so much to fear this time that I was "lucky" enough to be ignorant to before.

Stress. I keep hearing how stress is bad for a baby. For the most part the stress that I get is from the pregnancy or my five year old. My five year old is a challenge. There's nothing wrong with her, she doesn't have special needs and she's not a bad kid. She's head strong. She argues about everything. She ignores me, and she throws tantrums to rival a two year old. I love her and thank God for the blessing that she is in this house every time I pray, but lets not fool ourselves or anyone else...kids are hard. She is hard. And most days I feel lost on what to do. I even took the parenting class "Love and Logic". And I'll be honest, I'm the problem, not her. I made her this way. I mean granted, God gave her a strong will, but I have been the one that has yet to find a way to tame it and to help her reel it in. Lately my biggest issue is exhaustion. I'm tired. I'm 36, overweight, out of shape, perpetually sad, pregnant and I. Am. Tired! And sometimes I just stare at her. I can't even discipline her sometimes because I just can't muster up enough energy to deal with it. This morning I grounded her for the first time. Usually she looses a privilege, sometimes more. Today I told her she was grounded, and that meant no toys, no friends, no TV...just chores, all evening. BTW, this elicited a tantrum on a grand scale. Today I lost my cool. Today I did a lot of screaming. I'm not proud of that. I hate that. I grew up in a house with a screaming mother and I swore I would NEVER be that mom. The screaming is stressful, it solves nothing and frankly usually makes things worse. Today has been a very stressful day. I was cleaning for the impending visit of my brother and his girl friend, hoping for a grand announcement of some sort. But then I got word form the GF that my brother has been committed yet again. My brother is young, only 26, a psyche major (if you can wrap your head around that!). But he has a lot of demons, a lot of sadness, a lot of anger and a lot of right to be. BUT, he drinks when those demons show up, and his drinking negates the affects of his psyche meds (for depression, I believe). And then he gets stupid. And all we can do is stand in the shadows and gape in horror at what used to be the worlds sweetest little boy. It makes me feel helpless. It makes me sad, knowing his demons, knowing I can't do anything to make them go away, knowing all I can do is stare at the train wreck that he has become. And I have an immense amount of shame and guilt that I want to run and hide from him. I want to not know. I want to protect this itty bitty baby that is growing in me and I want it to be born healthy, and living and normal. I don't want ANY stress. I feel like I walk a fine line and that it wouldn't take much to push me into the abyss of grief, and THAT would definitely not be good for the baby, or anyone else.

Sadness. I feel like I have been perpetually sad for a little over four years now. Granted, things are way better than they used to be. And I get that I have a right to be sad, two great reasons really. Their names are Logan and Rudy. And I knew that this baby wasn't going to take that sadness away. I did, really. I guess what I wasn't prepared for is the sadness that this pregnancy would add. I'm sad for this baby now too. I'm sad because my daughter is aware that babies die, and she prays in class every day for this baby. I know she is nervous, she's said as much. She's five. She shouldn't have to fear such things. I'm sad because I can't bring myself to buy anything for this baby just yet. I'm sad because I'm haunted with thoughts that it could be too early, what if... I'm sad that this baby has such a gap in age with its sister, and that it will grow to know about the two other siblings, before him/her, who died. I'm sad to think that Logan and Rudy had to die in order for this child to be. I'm sad that I fear a boy, that my dh fears a boy.

Pregnancy post-dead-baby is full of things I didn't quite expect, and lacking some that I did. And I know in the end this will all be worth it...if I end up with a living baby. I know that ten years from now I'll look back with a completely different perspective. But when you're pregnant everyone expects you to smile and love every minute of it. No one really knows about the haunts of this reality. People keep saying for me to have only good thoughts, and that God came through for me. And I just don't get it people! I am 7 weeks away from the point in which Logan died in utero, and with out a hint of a problem. And babies die ALL THE TIME!! For good reason, for unknown reasons, for no good reason. Babies die in spite of happy thoughts and prayers. And when they do, it isn't because God didn't come through, or there wasn't enough faith or hope or desire or whatever. Babies die. They just do. Its an ugly part of life.


Michele said...

I have no magic words, just thoughts of love and peace that I'm sending your way. Hugs...

RETA said...

I was passing through and came upon your BlogSpot. You and I shall probably never meet - yet, I want you to know that my heart is breaking for you. RETA@ http://evenhaazer.blogspot.com

megan kudela said...

Your last post wasMarch of last year. I stumbled on your blog and wondered how you are doing. I lost my son on Mothers day last year. His birthday was yesterday. I'm also trying again which is scary but Im doing it because I want to be an active mom so badly. I hope that your last pregnancy yielded more positive results and that you've found some light among dark days. If you ever want to reply please visit my blog at walkwithrylan.com.

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